Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What's it worth to you????

My oldest son has had his eye on a 'prize' for quite a while now. He wants a Martin guitar. Until he asked for one, I had NO IDEA what that was. But now....I am in the know.

This is a Martin. Yeah...its a guitar to me too. my 16 year old, it is the Holy Grail of all guitars. He asked for one for Christmas, we laughed and said..."no seriously." We were discussing when he would finally get his own laptop....and we mentioned maybe for graduation. He quickly asked if a Martin would be a better choice for a graduation gift. You get the picture. He wants one bad!

Last night, Nick wanted to just go for a drive and of course I said....Let's go. Anytime a teenager says "mom do you want to go for a drive"...YOU SAY YES. It does not happen that often, especially with sons and moms. So I was total game. Had no idea where we were going and it didn't matter. I suggested we go to Guitar Center to look around. That is one of his favorite things to do. Well, it was closed. But he did go on to tell me how I really needed to see that guitar. Afterall - this particular one was only $600. I was thinking...that Dooney I was looking at is ONLY $300, but that is another blog!

As he was talking about this was obvious how passionate he was about it. Oh the things this guitar could do for his 'sound'. I said, "You really want that guitar don't you?". "YES. have no idea how bad". We laughed. So I said, "Ok...I tell you what, you get straight A's before the end of the school year either this grading period (which will not happen) or the last and I will buy you that guitar". At first....he was shocked into unbelief. THEN...he said, "I can't do that". So he became a very bummed 16 year old. Then came the discussion. The why can't you do that. Why would that be so hard? It is totally in your hands...all you have to do is work like you have never worked before. So I said..." you want it bad enough to work hard enough for it?"

The answer was that he really did want it...but the work to get it...seemed overwhelming. Too much. Now, I will tell you that Kevin is going to challenge him to do it. He loves the fact that if he does it...the guitar is going to be bought with my money. This means my allowance must be saved for a guitar that may or may not be bought by the end of May. Some of you might think that I am crazy to even offer that as a reward. has been so long since I've seen my teenager passionate about working hard for anything. I want to see a 'drive' in him. I want to see him understand and appreciate the value of working hard for something you feel is important. I personally think its a lost lesson. In much as he wants this guitar.....I'm not so certain he'll take me up on the offer. It flat out might be too much work. I am saying that about a child who tests in the 97 percentile of the state and is pretty happy with As, Bs and Cs. In his words...Its all cool. Or me and Kevin anyway. GRRRRRRRR. Anyway.....

Well, as I was driving to work this morning. I was feeling frustrated about him not jumping up and saying "Yes...I am so going to get straight As. Thank you MOM!". I began to consider the feelings God has when he says "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it"and I say...."Oh...I want to...I wish I could....but I just can't do that right now. That would be so much work for me...and so much to give up. Do I really have to do that now??"

What is it worth for me to find my life in Christ?? many things in my life should I deny so that I can find my life in him? I feel that I have a close walk with my Lord. I love him with all my heart and I desire to walk in him daily...every minute. But...there are times I make choices and I think....maybe I should not have done that. Or maybe I think...well I deserve that...or I needed to do that or wanted that...Whatever. I have a hard time sometimes laying down things that I desire but may not be right for then...or any other time. I want a life in Christ with joy unspeakable that won't go away!!! (I love that song! We sing it at church and it stays in my heart all day!) I want a life that in the end...leads to the ultimate prize. So...the question is, do I want it bad enough??? Hmmmmm

1 Corinthians 9:23-25 (New International Version)
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Funny Reality

I have to update the previous posting. I laughed about it all the way to work. As I wrote that early this am - and woke my boys up just loving who they are, made breakfast for them...(yes a hot breakfast!) the attitude by my Student of the Month was not like Col 3:12. (and perhaps neither was I)

He was frustrated that I did not wash 'the right clothes' last night and in turn put his sweaty nasty clothes in my dryer of nicely washed clothes so they would smell better for today. When I asked him to take them out...he argued because he needed them for today and he claimed he had expressed that to me several times.

I have a thing about no raised voices in the morning - so that we send the boys out in love. silence fell......and so did the nasty clothes in my dryer. But it was funny. So if you think that things in my house are always rosey....and deal with perfectly responding children.....think again. Its probably just like yours or perhaps more disfunctional at times!

That is why blogging about the great happenings is such a delight. Its really just that these special stand out accomplishments remind us (me) as parents that things are really better than we often think they are!!!

Scout always something going on!

In the middle of a crazy month - Scout manages to do something really cool. Well, let me take that back. Scout is always managing to do something really cool. is only Scout that realizes how cool it is....but there is always something cool going on with him! I have to laugh....he's just funny. He is pretty happy go lucky on most days. I am thankful for that disposition. But....there are things that he struggles with too that make him a most interesting child, but that is not what I'm talking about today.

We started 2009 with a bang for many reasons. Too many to blog about right here and now. But during the month of January....Scout was awarded Student of the Month for the 8th grade at his school. I am very proud of him. Also funny is that he is the only one out of my boys who reads my blog. Scout....I am proud of you!!! Not for reading this silly.....but for being a great kid! :)

Sometimes you just want people to know what's going on. And then there are other just don't want to share! Am I right??? Thankfully, this is a fun thing that I am glad to share.

Seriously, the Student of the Month thing is a big deal for me. Mainly because each day I get up I think about how I want to be and how I hope my children behave and carry themselves too. A Llllllooooooonnnnnng time ago at my Ladies Bible Study a friend of mine made a comment about a Bible Verse that she read every day as she woke up. Lisa mentioned that whatever she is feeling when she wakes up....she says this verse;

Colossians 3:12

"As God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compasion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience"

Whatever we feel....even on the bad hair Christians, we are still God's people. We still have ways we need to share. At an age where there can be much attitude on a daily basis.....I am very proud of him.

This is funny for me....We are not endorsing a candidate.....its just me anyway.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

An update on my Nana

First of all, thank you so much for praying for my sweet grandmother. There are so many people who have called, emailed and others who have just prayed for Nana. The prayers have been so evident. Not only for my Nana's health, but we have felt such peace as a family at a time when peace is not the first word you would use to describe a situation. I love this picture of us. It was taken at Buffalo Wild Wings this past October while we were meeting my parents there to watch football. Amazing what only a few months time can change.

One of my main concerns during this entire time has been my mom. She is an only child and has taken care of Nana for the last 10 years...maybe more. Nana has lived with my mom and dad and has truly relied on both of them for everything. Especially as her Alzheimer's became so present. My mom lost her dad when she was just a girl. Not that her father passed away, but he just left one day. When that happened, my Nana and my mom became a team. They are extremely close. I grew up seeing that in a big way. My Nana was always around for family events, lazy days, summer trips, name it and she was there. So, the thought of my Nana passing on is so hard for me to comprehend what my mom might feel. I've blogged before about how present she was in my life....but compared to my mom, that is nothing. I always worry about my mom in times like this. Anyone would. I'm also the naturally...its what I do in the birth order right???

Anyway, back to 'peace'. It has been amazing to witness my mom have such strength that can only be possible through God. We have amazing family and friends who have reached out to not only me, but my parents as well. Praying, calling, visiting, sending food......whatever. That is truly a blessing of community. My mom also shared with me that she has had people who work on staff inside the hospital pray with her. WOW! When is the last time that has happened to you??

Last Thursday, we gathered at the hospital to say goodbye. Kevin and I were not prepared for what we would see early Thursday morning. As prepared as I thought I was, walking in to the room was a reality check. She was unresponsive in every way. She could not hold my hand, talk to me, look at me....nothing. And after realizing this...I became overwhelmed at the thought of her being gone. We cried alot that day. But as the afternoon came around, we had all resolved ourself that she would no longer be with us after that day. She was literally that bad. Kevin and I knew we would need to get the boys and let them say goodbye. We did, and that was so hard. It was hard for them to do it...and it was hard for us to watch. It was most intriguing for me as a parent to see the very different way each of boys expressed their feelings. At the end of a very long day we went home wondering when we would get the call.

The next morning, surprised there was no call - we called my parents and found that Nana was doing better. Not out of the woods...but she was improving. For the sake of time here - I won't take you through every next hour in that day, but I can end this part by saying by the end of the day, she was off her breathing mask, she was sitting up and she was more than responsive. She was amazingly feisty and giving us all the 'what for' because she wanted her teeth back and she wanted some food. No kidding.

Sunday, she was moved out of Intermediary Care. Yesterday, we visited her and found that she had been listening and singing to the Anne Murray CD we took her on Thursday. She had been singing Amazing Grace with her nurse. To further give you and idea of her 'spirit' she led my mom, me and the boys in a rousing rendition of "I feel good" by James Brown. She would sing the 'I feel good' and we would have to respond with 'Da Da-Da Da-Da Da'. Believe me, she'll be a fighter until the day finally comes that she can't sing another note. Then...we'll know she is singing in heaven...and she will really feel good!

Don't get me wrong, we still need prayer as she has continued breathing problems and many other health issues that are facing her. Unfortunately, when she was transferred to Intermediary Care, they gave up her bed in the rehab / Nursing Home so I am not certain what lies ahead for mom in the way of arrangements. Maybe that is my next prayer request. Please pray that my mom has favor with everyone she speaks with whether that is hospice, nursing home...whatever. There is alot to handle over the next few weeks I am sure. Whatever happens, I know we are in the palm of his hand...and his time. I say about most everything I run into...It's all good. Or at least when its really will be.

Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4

A Time for Everything

1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,

3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,

4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,

Thank you for praying! Thank you for being a friend!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Random act of kindness for this sweet couple!!!!

This is from my amazingly amazing friend Elaine. She asked that we talk to our friends about her nephew Brandon and the chance he has to win a Dream Wedding! Please take a minute to do this. See the message from Elaine below.

My nephew, Brandon, (the one I requested prayer for who has Hodgkens Lymphoma) has been nominated to win a free wedding. He and Jerri are one of five couples. Please
go to and scroll down to wedding category, and click on Brandon Thompson & Jerri Caldwell. With all the medical expenses, and losing so much work
from chemo and his illnes, this would be such a blessing to them.

A step further would be to send this out to all the folks in your address book. God bless!

Thanks Everyone!!! It will just take a minute...but it could be a blessing of a lifetime to Brandon and Jerri.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Working is a good thing.....or at least it can be.

I am traveling with my fun co-workers this week. We have trade show we are attending in Atlanta, GA. This blog is total randomness and just for fun. Most trade shows are boring....unless you can share it with someone you have fun with! This is Jessica - she has become such a good friend. We travel together monthly. She represents our hotels in the central area of our state while I handle the Northern area now.

We truly enjoy working together. We know each other fairly well now after working together for a few years. We laugh about these trade shows and dinners and sometimes think..."I just want to blow off this one last dinner". You know the feeling....when you think nobody is looking!!! My boss is not in Atlanta with me...would he ever know??? And then....we think again....because we know we've been blessed with great jobs.

Colossians 3:23 (The Message)

22-25Servants, do what you're told by your earthly masters. And don't just do the minimum that will get you by. Do your best. Work from the heart for your real Master, for God, confident that you'll get paid in full when you come into your inheritance. Keep in mind always that the ultimate Master you're serving is Christ. The sullen servant who does shoddy work will be held responsible. Being a follower of Jesus doesn't cover up bad work.

I remember the first time I read that verse and realized that what I do when I am by myself at my job or at any responsibility is so important. God is always with me. He expects me to be on task because I am to be a reflection of him. I puts a real kink into that calling in sick thing doesn't it????

Now....even while we do our best job...we still manage to have some silly fun along the way. Today - we found some fun 'name badge' ribbons that we decided to add to our badges.

This is Jess with her Exhibitor/Worship Me/My brain hurts badge. The Worship me was funny for some reason earlier. Not so sure anymore why though.....but it sure cracked us up when we had been smiling and talking nonstop to people we didn't know for 3 hours. HA!

Here, you can see I'm an Exhibitor Goddess with OCD tendencies. She gave that one to me...I wonder what she means about me being OCD...hmmm.

Anyway, its late and I'm done. Gotta get some sleep because I have one more day of telling people why they should hold their meetings in Alabama. you have a meeting you want to plan in Alabama??? I know a great hotel.....

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Life in Technicolor - a2 Church

Many of you know that our family has been part of a church plant in Birmingham, Alabama. We have been so blessed to be a part of a2 Church. It has been an exciting journey all ready! Bill Robbins is a friend of ours at a2 and he filmed a part of our worship 2 Sundays ago. I am so glad that he posted this on his facebook. I knew that many of our friends and family who are not on Facebook would like to enjoy this video so I decided to put post it here.

I love that a2 is a place that invites all the arts to participate. Its not just about singing when we worship. You can see that here. Check out this video. You might recognize the music being performed - It's Coldplay. I love that we get to enjoy that on a Sunday morning. Click on the link and it will take you to my facebook page so that you can view the video. I can't figure out how to post the video here. One day...


I would love for you to read more about this service. This video was the artistic interpretation of Malachi 4:2, “…the son of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings.” If you would like to read more about this service or learn more about other services we've here. Chris Goins is our lead pastor and he truly has a unique way of sharing God's truths and his amazing love for us all.

If you find yourself in Vestavia, Alabama and you want to check out what a2 is all about. Please call me.....I'll meet you there with a cup of coffee and we'll enjoy the day together. What's your talent???? Maybe you can express your unique gift at a2 as well.

Acts 2:42-47 (NIV), They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

Monday, February 2, 2009

In the waiting

I blogged a week or so ago about my sweet grandmother. She is still in the hospital, but has been moved to rehab / nursing home. That in itself has been hard. If that were not hard enough, the second day of my grandmother's move, my mother fell inside her hospital room while checking on Nana and broke her arm. She will have surgery this coming Wednesday. It was devestating. Simply put, it was the straw that broke the camel's back for my exhausted mother. Not only did she break her arm, it was her right arm which makes caring for herself and her mother a bit difficult.

I know we all have situations where we've experienced that one last thing. That last blow that pushed us to the end. Or maybe, there was a situation with a friend, family member or perhaps a child - that made us say, "I can't do this. I'm done"

Romans 5:3-5 (The Message)

There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit!

It is so hard sometimes to keep our praise isn't it? When we want to cry, it seems sometimes so difficult to sing a song of joy. But God's word is true - and it tells us that if we continue to shout praise - EVEN WHEN WE ARE HEMMED IN WITH TROUBLES, that the lord will help cultivate that patience that is learned into a tempered steel of virture - keeping us alert for all that he has for us. God is generous and give us what we need, when we need it most.

Psalm 94:18-19 (New International Version)

18 When I said, "My foot is slipping,"
your love, O LORD, supported me.

19 When anxiety was great within me,
your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Lord, when I feel my feet slipping from under me, I praise you for the love you abundantly give that supports my every step. I praise you for the joy you bring to my life and the lives of those I love. I know you are the waiting....holding me up.